If I wait to take pictures so that I only capture the exciting, the memorable, the worth-looking-at, then I will never take any at all. Life is, after all, more mundane than exciting; more ordinary than extraordinary; more to be savoured moment-by-moment than endured for the next great excitement. And so I post here both mundane and memorable, as they come my way.

08 October 2006

Hill walking and Loch Lomond

Erskine Bridge, as seen from Charlie's car. While moving.

Loch Lomond

A slightly wider view of Loch Lomond.

The clouds were absolutely fantastic that day. No rain, though.

More of Loch Lomond, with the hills on the other side.

Hills, greenery, brilliant sky-- imagine seeing this every day.

Scottish heather!

Charlie and I, when we stopped to eat.

Chad in front of a funny grass hut thing we went past.


Edinburgh Castle

The Scottish coat-of-arms and motto: "Nemo me impune lacessit"

One of many bagpipe players-- this one was better looking than most.

This sign is tacked onto every intersection, in case the tourists forgot they were on the Royal Mile.

Outside the Scottish Parliament.

Behind the Scottish Parliament. This is apparently a very nice hill walk, but we were pressed for time.

The debating chamber inside Parliament.


We felt welcome, indeed.

This was the chocolate bar we ate with much rejoicing.

The street Dawn lives on.

Another part of Castlemilk.

I was just wishing that our window would open this widely.

This is the church building in Castlemilk.

And the inside.

Reuniting with friends at West Mains.

Caroline and I, in her kitchen.

This is a random street in Glasgow; we got off the underground and were just walking along.

A kilt shop, one of many.

The St. George's Cross underground station. ("Cross" in this sense refers to a major intersection.) You can't really see it in this picture, but there was water under the rails, and in fact it was running water-- we could hear it at every station.

The Scotland Street school museum, which was an operating school until about 30 years ago. Schools of the early- to mid- 1900s had separate entrances for boys and girls (this one also had one for infants-- usually the first year or two of elementary school), and if I'm not mistaken, I believe that was common practise in the States at that time as well.

A Glaswegian school bus.

A look up one of the busiest streets in the city centre. We were in the second story of Pizza Hut when I took this picture. The red bus on the left is one of the open-topped tour buses, but since it was really rainy that day, all the tourists were crammed into the small covered bit at the front. I thought if they really wanted to experience Glasgow, they would have just sat in the rain, but oddly enough none of them asked my opinion.

A Scottish police car.

So we were walking up the street and I spotted this and said, "Oh! Brilliant! Doctor Who is here!" This is in fact an old-style police box; people can go to one of these and call the nearest police station if need be. This one, obviously, is no longer a functioning police box, but is in fact a very small coffee shop. There are still some of the old ones around, still working, though.

And this is a more modern police box.

This is Buchanan Street, in the pedestrian section of the city centre. A lot of the more posh shops will be found on this street. The building at the very top of the street (and I mean that literally-- it is a pretty steep hill) is a really nice mall. The screen on the front of the building, at the top, is mostly for adverts and that sort of thing, but it can be seen all the way from Castlemilk, several miles away.

This is one of the gardens in King's Park.

And another one.

A view of the city, with the mountains in the background, from the Viewpoint in Queen's Park.

Swans in the park.

And one very cute seagull.

If .899 sounds like a cheap price for gas to you, remember you have to multiply by 1.89 to convert from pounds to dollars, and then by 3.78 to get the price per gallon instead of per litre. Yes, that's right, gasoline is sold by the litre in the UK, and also in most of the rest of the world, I think.

Stoplights in the UK, when changing from green to red, go green-yellow-red as ours do, but when changing back, the yellow comes on at the same time as the red, before both go out and the green comes on. I'm not sure about the reason for this, although I would guess it's because most cars in the UK are standard, not automatic, and the yellow light is a signal to put the car back in gear.

The Scottish flag on top of a church. The "X" is called St. Andrew's cross, St. Andrew being the patron saint of Scotland, and apparently he was executed upon an X-shaped cross.

11 September 2006


Thanks to a helpful link from our friend James, I can tell you that the rocket-shaped building is the Swiss Re building, and its primary function is commercial/office space. And while I like the office I work in, I think I would like it even more if it looked like this. Also, this building was pictured in the season 2 premier of Doctor Who, and the aliens very rudely broke out all the windows. Anyway, we were standing on the Tower Bridge when Chad took this picture.

And this is the Tower Bridge itself.

The Tower of London, right next to the Tower Bridge.

A guard in front of Buckingham Palace.

They have these helpful notices printed on the streets in most of town, so that tourists won't be flattened because they looked the wrong way before crossing, and therefore didn't see the double-decker bus coming from the other direction.

We actually have a better picture of Westminister Abbey, but my Photobucket account is not cooperating. But this is the main entrance.

The driver of this bus must have seen that I have "Les Miserables Rules" printed across my forehead, and stopped so that I could take a picture, which was very kind. Actually I was delighted to get this shot. There are adverts up all over London for Les Mis, saying that it is about to become the longest-running musical in the world. And if we'd had more time, I probably would have dragged Chad into the nearest theatre to see it.

This is just one of several hundred signposts up around London. I put in the large version to make it readable; the arm just up from the bottom one is pointing to Westminister Abbey.

Just buses, nothing exciting, but we were standing in front of the Houses of Parliment at this point.

Big Ben

The London Eye, right next to the Thames. Apparently you can get a brilliant view of London from this thing, but they will charge you an exhorbitant amount of money to get on it. It was originally meant to be a 5-year exhibit kind of thing, but it turns out people quite like it, so I think it's now going to be more or less permanent. Also? I was still living in this country when they built it.

At the end of the day, we were seriously ready for bed. And this is us in our sleeper car.

The outside of the train. We were in car E, berths 5 & 6 (two beds in each room, but each bed is called a berth).

And the sign that welcomed us to Euston, right before we left London.